Aloe vera are some of the plants I use in decorating my indoor and outdoor spaces. I love their long plump leaves. I know you’ve heard about the medicinal value of this succulent. As such, nothing has stopped me from propagating aloe vera plants as a backup to my collection.
As a plant enthusiast, I have always seen plant propagation as a great learning process. I am now able to understand the care and growth needs of various plants including echeveria, holiday cacti, jade, the string of pearls, and the famous hens and chick plant among others.
If you have a healthy and mature aloe vera plant, propagating its pups allows you to get more plants without any struggle. Even if you don’t have an interest in expanding your collection, sharing your propagated plants can spread the benefits of aloe vera and bring joy to others.
How to propagate aloe vera plant
As the aloe vera plant matures, it produces offsets (pups) as a natural way to protect its continuity. Over time, these pups grow into independent adult plants. If you are interested in propagating aloe vera, you can separate these pups from the main plant and grow them in their own pots.
The growing season is the best time to propagate or repot an aloe vera plant. The spring or summer weather conditions are suitable for faster growth and establishment of new plants. I once tried to propagate succulents in the fall but they were caught up with the cold winter before they root.
Here’s how you can propagate aloe vera the easiest way.
- Wait for the aloe vera pups to grow and at least have their own roots. Offsets start growing at the base of a mature aloe. It’s not viable to separate them before they grow their own set of roots.
- Locate a healthy pup, at least one that has its own set of roots. You may choose several of them if you intend to grow more plants.
- Get a sizable pot with good drainage and fill it with a succulent potting mix. Aloe vera prefers well-draining soil. If you are using standard potting soil, be sure to combine it with sand or perlite to improve drainage.
- Separate the aloe offset from the main plant. Use a clean, sharp knife or your hands to gently detach the pup from the main root system. Ensure it has as many roots as possible.
- Place the separated offset in a warm dry place for a week for the cut end to dry and callus over. This helps prevent rot and fungal infections when you plant it in the soil.
- Insert the pup in the soil, making sure the roots are buried and stable. The soil should reach the level where the first set of leaves begins from the base.
- Water the pup sparingly after planting but do not overwater it. Aloe vera is prone to root rot, so it’s important to allow the soil to dry out between the waterings.
- Place the newly planted pup in a location with bright, indirect sunlight. Avoid too much direct sun as it can scorch the young plant.
It will take a few weeks for the pup to fully establish itself in the soil and start growing. Just monitor the growth process and once it fully establishes, treat it as a mature aloe plant.
Propagating aloe through leaf cuttings
The next option you might consider for getting more aloe plants in your collection is rooting leaf cuttings. Here you don’t have to wait until the plant produces offsets. You can do it at any stage of the plant as long as it has some healthy leaves.
It’s best to take multiple leaf cuttings for propagation as only a few might successfully root and grow into viable plants. More so, spring or early summer is the ideal time for the project.
Use a clean sharp knife to cut off several outer leaves. Place them in a warm place for two or three days to dry out and form a callus over the cut end. If you skip this step, the leaves may rot once planted in the soil.
Rooting aloe leaf cuttings
Prepare a small pot with good drainage and fill it with cacti or succulent mix. You can also make your own potting soil by mixing one part multipurpose potting soil with one part sand or perlite. The aim is to come up with a well-draining aloe vera potting media.
Once the cuttings have callus over, inset them into your potting mix. You may apply a rooting hormone at the cut end for faster growth but it’s not essential. Water the soil sparingly and place the pot in a warm location with bright indirect light.
Monitor the progress and water the cutting lightly whenever the soil gets dry. It may take up to 4 weeks for the leaves to root. Once the cuttings have been fully established, transplant them to your preferred location and treat them as mature aloe plants.
Tips for growing a healthy aloe plant
Here are a few care tips for growing aloe vera
- Aloe vera grows best in temperatures between 65 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. They are warm-weather plants and you should protect them from cold winter conditions.
- Water aloe plants regularly during spring and summer but allow the soil to dry out between the waterings. Overwatering may cause root rot.
- Aloe vera plants thrive in bright indirect sunlight. They can tolerate some direct sunlight in the morning or evening. Insufficient sunlight may cause aloe to grow leggy.
- You don’t need to fertilize aloe plants too often. Fertilize them once a month in the spring and summer with a balanced houseplant fertilizer diluted to half strength.
- Repot aloe vera plants once they outgrow their pots. Spring is the best time to repot and make sure to use fresh well-draining soil and a sizeable pot that has drainage holes.
Propagating aloe vera can be a rewarding way to expand your collection of succulents. The easiest way to propagate is through the separation of pups from the main plant and growing them in their own pots. You can also root aloe leaf cuttings but you’ll need to be patient as it takes some time.
Growing aloe vera from seed is typically not viable at the home level. The seeds might need special conditions to germinate and the option only becomes possible in dedicated nurseries and gardening centers.
My name is Diane M Lewik, and I am the founder of this website. I am a degree holder in plant biology from the University of California – Berkeley. Over years, I have cultivated a vast collection of succulents and I have learned a great deal about how to grow and care for these unique plants.